Here are some Christmas presents for my loyal readers
By Debra LoGuercio
Monday, December 22, 2003
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If only I was a cartoonist. I thought up a corker: Frame One: A doctor pokes around inside the mouth of a ratty, disheveled Saddam with a tongue depressor.
Frame Two: The same doctor meticulously picks through Saddam's filthy hair. Above both frames is a banner: "The last place where they haven't looked for weapons of mass destruction."
Frame Three: Another doctor, underneath a sign that says "Proctologist," grins evilly and wields a huge plunger. Above his head is a bubble that says "Almost!"
I know, I know, columnists are supposed to be churning out serious commentary on Saddam's capture, but it's Christmas. I'm just not in the mood. Besides, the roving "reporter" on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" summed up my perspective perfectly: "After months and months of searching, we finally caught the guy who had nothing to do with Sept. 11!"
I could only improve on that by adding, "After months and months of searching and spending $87 billion, we finally caught the guy who had nothing to do with Sept. 11!
But there'll be plenty of time to discuss that next year. It's an election year and you can bet the farm that Bush's re-election slogan will be "We Got Him!" Not the right "him," mind you, but no one seems to be paying any attention to that. So let's not think about it now. Let's think about Christmas.
They aren't wrapped in pretty paper, but I do have gifts for all the wonderful people who read this column each week: better health, more time, gratitude and a tender heart. Bet you're wondering how I'll pull that off in one lowly little column. Just you watch.
My gift of health is Better Butter. After foregoing butter for decades, the health police informed us last year that the trans-fats in margarine are more damaging to your arteries than real butter. But butter is pure animal fat, and I don't care what the Dr. Atkins groupies say, I refuse to believe that all that animal fat is healthy in the long run.
The human body didn't evolve on a high-fat diet, and evolution is pretty smart. Besides that, it's a pain to scrape shavings off cold, hard butter, only to have it dig holes in your toast.
The quick, healthy solution is to use olive oil instead of butter or margarine. But some foods, like corn on the cob or English muffins, just aren't the same smeared in olive oil. For those foods, make some Better Butter.
Soften a cup of butter to room temperature, then blend it with a cup of olive oil. Pour it into a Tupperware-type container and refrigerate. When it hardens, it's the perfect consistency for spreading, and you've replaced half the unhealthy fat with healthy fat.
The next gift is time. You'll get it by eliminating a step in doing the laundry. When you take laundry from the dryer, stop at the linen closet, fold all the towels and linens, and put them directly into the closet rather than piling them up somewhere and then putting them away.
Do the same with children's clothing at each bedroom, and save even more time by teaching children to do their own laundry. (Hint: If they're old enough to baby-sit, they're old enough to do their own laundry).
As for an attitude of gratitude, the next time you're stuck in a traffic jam, don't curse your rotten luck - thank your lucky stars. You've been delayed for a reason. Whenever I'm stuck in traffic, I thank the universe for protecting me. If I'd been farther down the road, I'd surely have been in an accident, and my eventual safe arrival is evidence of that.
Think of all the traffic jams you've been in, and yet you're here to tell. Don't you feel more grateful already?
Now for that tender heart (which is thanking you for switching to Better Butter). Get yourself a copy of the Amy Grant Christmas CD that has "Grown-up Christmas List" on it, take a quiet moment and listen carefully. (Note: Kelly Clarkson's horrid rendition, currently in release, won't do. She took a piece of perfection and ruined it. A pox on her.)
"Grown-up Christmas List" as sung by Amy Grant is, hands down, the most beautiful Christmas song ever, and puts the whole season in perspective.
I can't listen to it without blubbering like an idiot. If these lyrics don't touch your heart, maybe yours is like the Grinch's - two sizes too small:
"So here's my lifelong wish,
My grown-up Christmas list.
Not for myself,
But for a world in need.
No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts,
And everyone would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end.
This is my grown-up Christmas list."
Jeez, I can't even type the words without blubbering.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Debra LoGuercio is the editor for the Winters Express and writes a weekly column for McNaughton Newspapers. Reach her at debra~wintersexpress.com.